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Are you missing out on up to £1,200 tax free?

Published on 13 October 2020

Help-to-Save is a government initiative to help those on lower incomes to save for the future. Regular saving is rewarded with bonuses. You can get a bonus of up to half of what you have saved – tax free! More than 47,200 people recently received their first bonus, getting an average of £375 each. Why not join them?

Image of a piggy bank and the words help to save
(c) Shutterstock / Alohaflaminggo

What is Help-to-Save?

This is a special type of savings account that can only be opened by certain people on low incomes. You can save up to £50 a month into a Help-to-Save account over four years.

The scheme is run by HM Revenue & Customs, but your money will actually be held in National Savings & Investments (NS&I).

Why should I think about Help-to-Save now?

These are difficult times. Regular savings can help build up a ‘rainy day’ fund and provide a safety net in the event of an unexpected expense or a change in income.

Our full guidance (see below) explains who can open a Help-to-Save account, but basically it is linked to receiving either tax credits or universal credit. If you get either of these jointly with someone else, you could both open an account – possibly getting bonuses of up to £2,400 between you! There is a bit more to it than that, so you will need to read the detail before applying.

However, generally speaking, the coronavirus pandemic might have meant your financial circumstances have changed and you can now open a Help-to-Save account, when you could not do so before. For example, you might have needed to start to claim universal credit due to your income going down.

Of course, starting a savings plan might not be high on your list of things to do right now.

But Help-to-Save accounts can stay open for four years. So if you think your income might go back up in future, you could look at opening one now and then save more later on. You only have to meet the rules about receiving tax credits or universal credit when you open the account. It does not matter if you later stop getting them and you don’t have to start saving straight away.

Where can I find out more?

This is just a brief article. Please read our main guidance on Help-to-Save for full details.

Contact: Gillian Wrigley (click here to Contact Us)
(First published: 13/10/20)

 

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